Online Poker Players Keep Jobs Thanks To Republican Lawmakers
Professional online poker players were facing the harsh reality a couple of weeks ago that they may have been unemployed come 2011. Luckily for them, they will still be able to conduct their business in an unregulated industry thanks to Republican lawmakers.
Senator Harry Reid was attempting to pass online poker legislation that would have given his support group in Nevada (big time Las Vegas gaming companies) the keys to the Internet gambling industry in the US. Reid, however, made the mistake of letting the cat out of the bag too early, and when Republican lawmakers got wind of the idea, they squashed it immediately.
That may have been a good thing for the thousands of online players that make their living at online poker sites. Senator Reid's bill would have halted play at online poker sites for at least fifteen months. That would have left a lot of Americans without jobs come the new year.
"I want the laws changed regarding online poker, but I don't want to lose my income for a long period of time," said an online poker pro that referred to himself as Doug. "If they are going to change the laws, they need to do it the right way, and ensure that the companies that have been servicing us Americans continue to do so."
Doug brings up a good point regarding players. Millions of current players are being accepted at sites such as Full Tilt and PokerStars, two online sites with stellar reputations when it comes to legitimacy. The two sites, however, will likely be left out of any licensing if, and when, the US government changes their laws.
"Imagine that a playoff system was finally put in place in college football, but Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, Ohio State, and Texas were unable to play in the playoffs," said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. "That is what it would be like to create online poker legislation that excluded current sites accepting US players."
The point Schwartz is making is simple, if it is not broken , there is no reason to fix it. Thousands of families have been supported in the US thanks to online poker sites that accept US players. To give newcomers to the industry such as MGM Mirage and Caesars Entertainment control of the industry would be like handing the keys to a Ferrari to a teenager just learning to drive.
Senator Reid failed in his attempt to pay back his gaming supporters in Nevada, and for that, many online poker players will thank the Republicans that thwarted Reid's efforts. The online gaming laws do need to be changed in the US, but it needs to be done not for political payback, but for the thousands of Americans that depend on the income created by the skill of playing cards that they have mastered.
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